The Halloween Costume We’re Cancelling This Year

It's time we stopped sexualizing women on Halloween.

BY Ophelia Frank
Sep.15,2019 / UPDATED ON MAY.17,2021

Okay, we’re climbing on our high-horse here with a Halloween complaint. But first, we want to start by clarifying that we’re not anti-Halloween—we’re just against the way the majority of costumes for women that tend to extol (if not amplify) only those more stereotyped, more sexualized representations of traditional gender roles. Yep, we’re riding that high-horse.

Why should women be forced to select between costumes which insist upon rehashing conventional (and long outmoded, or so we’d hoped) “Madonna/whore” stereotypes? No doubt, there’s an all-too-high number of all-too-clichéd iterations of this formula: good vs. evil, virginal vs. sinful, modest vs. provocative—the list goes on. Haven’t we as a culture evolved to embrace more nuanced and multi-faceted portrayals? Why do we expect girls to wear sexy costumes?

This year, we’re angling toward something different. 

We’re sure you agree: Halloween has long-summoned a particular spirit of eclecticism (and that’s not the only kind!). Come October 31st, and all the elaborate and not-so-elaborate metamorphoses-of-self said date entails, let’s delve deeper than the typical pre-packaged, store-bought angels and devils (who seem to share practically identical propensity toward marabou feathers and fishnets, if only of contrasting hues). Let’s make this the year of pursuing costumed identities which inspire and empower. Who’s with us?

And if you’re not with us, well, raise the hemline and lower the neckline. Heck, it’s Halloween. Okay, putting our high-horse back in the barn.

Keywords: trick-or-treatOctober 31stHalloweenholidayssexy costumeswhore
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